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Historic England Research Records

Maiden Bower

Hob Uid: 55347
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
Topcliffe
Grid Ref : SE4100075000
Summary : A Norman motte and bailey castle, built soon after 1071, and re-fortified in 1174. The motte is separated from the bailey by a deep ditch. The motte is 4 metres high, 20 metres in diameter at the base and 11 metres in diameter on the summit. The bailey, surrounded by a ditch, encloses about 1 acre. The motte and bailey and associated features are visible as earthworks on historic and recent air photos and lidar-derived images.
More information : (SE410750) Maiden Bower (NAT) Motte and Bailey (NR). (1)

Topcliffe, Maiden Bower. A typical Norman motte and bailey castle erected soon after 1071 and re-fortified in 1174 during the Mowbray rebellion. The motte, which rises to about 45 feet above the low lying land between the two rivers, has a present summit diameter of about 27 feet. The bailey, horse-shoe shaped and enclosing about 1acre, lies to the west and is separated from the motte by a deep ditch. The bailey is surrounded by a ditch and counter-scarp, all in a good state of preservation. (2)

"Maiden Bower", a motte and bailey built on top of a scarped natural spur between the confluence of the River Swale and Cod Beck. The motte is about 4.0m high and about 20.0m diameter across the base and 11.0m diameter across the flattened summit. It has been terraced to form a spiralling access to the summit but this is most probably due to modern "landscaping" and the original approach has probably been from the SW. The natural spur at the base of the motte in the E has been scarped and was possibly utilised as a protective hornwork.

The spur has been excavated to form a moat separating the motte from the horse-shoe shaped bailey on its W side. The bailey measures about 65.0m NW/SE by about 85.0m NE/SW and the remains of a ditch can be seen around its NW side with a much eroded rampart on its inner edge. This ditch appears to have terminated on the NE and S, before reaching the motte, where the natural slopes of the spur have been emphasised by scarping and there is no trace of an outer scarp.
(See GP from the NW).

Published survey (25") Revised. (3)

Visible on RAF APs. (4)

No change to report of 29-MAY-1974. Survey revised and transferred to 1:2,500 MSD. (5)

SE 4085 7511. Maiden Bower and Cock Lodge: a motte and bailey castle, moated site, windmill mound and associated linear outwork. Scheduled RSM No 20530/01. (6)

Listed by Cathcart King (7)

The motte and bailey and later spiral path that leads up and around the motte are visible as earthwork on air photos. Also visible are two broad ditches running south and north-west from the bailey ditch. A bank lies to the side of the latter. The bailey interior and surroundings are overlain with ridge and furrow (see UID 1514669). The motte and bailey and associated features are visible as earthworks on historic and 2007 oblique air photos and 2003 lidar-derived images (8-10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1956
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details : (William I Anson)
Page(s) : 393-6
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 22, 1913
Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR MAL/71177 150 14-NOV-1971
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Source Number : 9
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE 4075/50 NMR 20728/07 12-NOV-2007
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Source Number : 10
Source : Light detection and ranging (lidar) airborne survey
Source details : LIDAR SE4074 ENVIRONMENT AGENCY D0025236 23-JAN-2003
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Dugdale, vol 1, p 409
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Source Number : 2b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Roger of Hoveden, vol II, p 58, Pipe Roll
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : FI ISS, 29-MAY-1974
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Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : APs: RAF 541/565 4193-4
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : FI CDA, 18-NOV-1976
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Source Number : 5a
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : APs: OS 73/421 438-439
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage, Scheduling Amendment, 26-JAN-1994
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Source Number : 7
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 527
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1071
Monument End Date : 1071
Monument Start Date : 1071
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Motte, Bailey, Ditch, Bank (Earthwork)
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Refortified 1174
Monument End Date : 1174
Monument Start Date : 1174
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Path
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 226
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20530
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY11
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (North Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : MNY12
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 47 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 55362
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1514663
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1514669
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 47 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-05-29
End Date : 1974-05-29
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 47 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1976-11-18
End Date : 1976-11-18